BREAKING: National Assembly Stands Still for Orji Kalu as He Resumes Senate (Photos)

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Edozie Udeojo,Abuja

The Nigerian Senate, Tuesday, stood still as Chief Whip of the Senate , Senator Orji Uzor Kalu and former Governor of Abia State resumed for his legislative duties at the National Assembly complex.

Orji Kalu’s resumption could be described as a “triumphal” entry as he was greeted with thunderous cheers from hundreds of staff , security personnels , lawmakers and other well wishers who gathered to catch a glimpse and welcome the Chief Whip after his 6 months absence.

The former governor of Abia State, who is the Chief Whip, arrived at the Senate wing of the nation’s parliament at exactly 9:00am .

He exchanged pleasantries with his colleagues and acknowledged greetings from legislative staff and security operatives .

Speaking with journalists on arrival at the entrance to the Senate chamber, Kalu described his experience as an occurrence of fate.

He said, “I just want to thank God for everything that has happened. It is the will of God. I want to urge Nigerians to keep hope alive.” We just give thanks to God , Go and thank God for me .

When asked about what his constituents should expect from him upon his return, he said ” my people know that I was action Governor and I am also going to be an Action Senator”

Kalu was released after over six months of incarceration at the Kuje Correctional Centre.

The Senator and others, were in December last year, convicted and sentenced for a N7.1bn fraud.

Justice Mohammed Idris, who was elevated to the Court of Appeal bench, had returned to the Federal High Court in Lagos to complete the case, which started in 2007.

However, the Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision by a seven-member panel led by Justice Amina Augie, on May 8 this year, held that the Federal High Court in Lagos acted without jurisdiction when it convicted Kalu, his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited and a former Director of Finance in Abia State, Jones Udeogu, in December last year.

The verdict of the apex court was not categorical on whether Kalu should be released from prison or not and his lawyers decided to approach a Federal High Court in Lagos for the interpretation of the judgment.

Justice Mohammed Liman of the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court on Tuesday ordered the immediate release of Orji Kalu, a former governor of Abia State, from the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service.

The judge delivered his ruling following an application by Lateef Fagbemi, Mr Kalu’s lawyer, seeking his release from custody.

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